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(Elliott + 2011)

Empathy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice & Training,
DOI or Website Link:  
Authors:   Elliott, R., Bohart, A.C., Watson, J.C., & Greenberg, L.S. 
Elliott, R., Bohart, A.C., Watson, J.C., & Greenberg, L.S. (2011). Empathy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice & Training, 48, 43-49. DOI: 10.1037/a0022187

  • has extensive exploration of the definition of empathy.

  •  defining empathy, 
  • discussing its measurement, and 
  • offering an example of empathy in practice
  • we present the results of an updated meta-analysis of the relation between empathy and psychotherapy outcome. 
Results indicated that empathy is a moderately strong predictor of therapy outcome: mean weighted r = .31 (95% confidence interval: .28 - .34), for 59 independent samples and 3599 clients. Although the empathy-outcome relation held equally for different theoretical orientations, there was considerable nonrandom variability. 

Client and observer perceptions of therapist empathy predicted outcomes better than therapist perceptions of empathic accuracy measures, and the relation was strongest for less experienced therapists. We conclude with practice recommendations, including endorsing the different forms that empathy may take in therapy

Quotes: (Any pithy quotes)

Topic Area: (In which field / sector / perspective was this study conducted?)

Definition(How was empathy defined?)
  • There is no consensual definition of empathy in psychotherapy (Bohart & Greenberg, 1997; Batson, 2009)

Benefits(Were any benefits of empathy mentioned?)

Criticisms  (Were any criticisms, negative effects or risks of empathy mentioned?)

Methods(What were the methods used to train empathy?)

Target Group:  (Who participated in this study / training?)

Measurements(About the assessment: How was the change in empathy measured before/after the intervention/method?) 
"Reflecting the complex, multidimensional nature of empathy, a confusing welter of measures have been developed. Within psychotherapy, the measures of therapist empathy fall into four categories: empathy rated by nonparticipant raters (expressed empathy); client-rated empathy (received empathy); therapists rating their own empathy (empathic resonance); and empathic accuracy (congruence between therapist and client perceptions of the client). "
  • Observer-rated empathy.
  •  Client ratings. 
  • Therapist Ratings.
  •  Empathic Accuracy. 

Result: (What was the result?)

Posted By:  

(Any other relevant information)


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